The world is flat

26 June 2006 » Photos, Politics, Travel

I’m in Närpes, Finland working from my grandmother’s house for 10 days. It’s a very rural area, and as kids this place seemed so remote that after spending 6 summer weeks here it felt like you were coming home to an entirely different world. Your friends had changed, a season full of events had passed and you were an outsider when you returned.

It’s been a completely opposite experience this time. My grandmother’s 200 year old farm house has a 10 megabit fiber connection – twice as fast as the top-of-the line DSL package in the New York metropolitan area – and voice over IP lets me join conference calls with better comfort and clarity than my cell phone.

All this coincides with observations about the world of business and communications in the book I’ve finally gotten around to reading, The World Is Flat, by Thomas Friedman. Unless I explicitly remind my friends and coworkers, they can’t really tell where I am.

I have some pictures posted, but will spend more time making them presentable when I return.

Update: I’ve returned and posted my pictures in a better thumbnail format.

NYPHP Conference & Expo 2006

19 June 2006 » Media, PHP, Web development

There has been quite a bit of buzz about Rod Smith’s keynote at last week’s NYPHP Conference & Expo. Rod and his team provided a case study of a situational application built for the National Association of Broadcasters and performed a live demo of how to go about creating a five minute application.

It was pretty interesting stuff, but Rasmus Lerdorf followed with what I found to be an even more impressive mashup that the audience could better relate to. He showed a tool he built for internal use at Yahoo which serves as an corporate Craig’s List of sorts, with hooks to Web services to provide posters with recommended price ranges and stock photos of the item they are selling.

The key enabler in both of these applications is Ajax, as it provides a way to pull in third party Web services to the original Web site transparently.

Another press release that came out during the week was an announcement about the integation of PHP with WebSphere Application Server Community Edition (WAS CE). This is welcome news and means I don’t have to experiment myself. :)

Cancelled cable

06 June 2006 » Cats, Media

I finally bagged my cable subscription. This was easier than it could have been since I use DSL instead of cable for my broadband connection.

I’ve decided that I can get my news via the radio and essential video snippets on the Web. Besides saving some cash, this will give me time to catch up on reading and other hobbies.

Some interesting thoughts on the matter from a fellow quitter.